Crime & Justice

DOJ: Deputies at LA County sheriff's stations in Lancaster, Palmdale discriminated (Update)

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.
Reed Saxon/AP

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A Department of Justice investigation into the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department found that deputies in the Antelope Valley "engaged in a pattern or practice of stops, searches, and seizures and excessive force in violation of the Constitution and federal law." 

The DOJ, which made the announcement Friday, found that minority residents in Section 8 housing were targeted by deputies in the Lancaster and Palmdale stations.

"The sheriff's department adamantly disagrees with the DOJ's assertion," said sheriff's spokesperson Steve Whitmore on Friday. "We as a department stand resolute in the fact, in our belief, that the department has not discriminated against members of the public."

But Whitmore also said the department will work closely with the DOJ to assess if any changes need to be implemented.

When the DOJ investigation was launched in 2011, Whitmore said that the sheriff's department had already worked with an oversight agency and any problems had already been resolved.

"The department invited Housing Authority officials to give our deputies sensitivity training on Section 8 issues," he said. "Also racial profiling training by Museum of Tolerance was done."

Whitmore added that requests for deputies to join housing officials on compliance checks are evaluated before being granted.

Some findings from the justice department investigation include:

Some changes proposed by the DOJ include:

This story has been updated.